Where were you when Challenger exploded?


30 years ago, on January 28th 1986, the space shuttle Challenger broke apart 73 seconds into flight, killing six astronauts and one middle-school teacher.


Bangkok, Thailand. Read about it in the English-language newspaper the next day.

But weren’t you supposed to start off? @Woodchuck45


I was in middle-school myself. We had a TV brought in to class so we could watch the launch live.


Vegas de Milo, “Dusted


(nevermind, found it! not sure if this embedded player thing works through the BBS though)


I was in the fourth grade. Since I was on Pacific time by the time I got to school in the morning it had already occurred but I didn’t know.

I knew something was up because when I got into class, the teacher had the TV cart out which rarely happened. Stranger yet, the news was on.

Instead of our usual lessons we spent the day watching the coverage. I’m sure for educators having a school teacher among the dead probably hit extra hard.


I stayed home from school “sick” – was watching the launch on TV.


I assume I was at school but I don’t remember when I first heard the news. I do remember watching many stories about it on the news with my grandparents. I was only 6.

edit: Actually less than two months away from turning six.


Getting ready to go to my great-grandmother’s funeral, I think. We were supposed to watch it in class, but I was out for that.


Middle school, but I think the TV was in the other room. I did not watch it live, but saw it very shortly after. I took a sick day off shortly after and watched Cosmos I seem to recall.


Non-extant. But I do remember Columbia. It was in 7th grade I think. I remember hearing lots of conspiracy theories. People suggesting the Chinese shot it down. Or the US Government. Even way back then.

That’s about when I got tired of conspiracy theories, and lost patience with that kind of idle fantasy.


College, at an engineering school so it was a quiet morning in a residence hall full of science nerds.


I was in 6th grade. I was a huge space/astronaut nerd and was pissed that my teacher wouldn’t let us watch the launch live. I even petitioned them to let us (“it’s a teacher in space!!”). In between classes, some kid in the hallway yelled “the Space Shuttle blew up!”. Five minutes later we were being ushered into our classes and watched the replay of the explosion. And then we were all sent home for the day.


Boca Raton hell Middle School, Boca Raton hell, Floriduh. Skipped class that day…maybe even skipped all of my classes, to watch the launch from the school library. I have memories of going outside to see the smoke from the launch and subsequent explosion (even though I question that memory somewhat now–Mouth of the Rat is ~170 miles from Kennedy).


High school, during lunch period, at Manatee High School, Bradenton, FL. (Far enough away that, no, we couldn’t see Shuttle launches from there.) The first I heard was some asshole kid joking about the “teacher who blew up.” :disappointed:

I don’t honestly remember whether there was any official announcement at school or just rumors, but the first thing I did when I got home from school that day was turn on the news.


And this makes me feel even older now. :crying_cat_face:


Jesus, I’m hecka old and I was in 6th grade.


gah, kids, yer all a buncha kids… “get off my soggy wet seattle overgrown with weeds and moss lawn” :stuck_out_tongue:


Here in Tucson I’d know if kids were on my “lawn” because I’d hear them screaming in pain.


I’ll help: I was probably at a babysitter’s since I was too young to go to school.


I was in a car, having just moved back to Seattle, listening to the radio while my mother was inside doing a job interview? (I was 14.)